Foods high in antioxidants are currently the super foods of choice - the magic foods that will give us health and long life. The best of them are found in the fruits and vegetables. That advice we've been hearing all our lives: "eat your vegetables," turns out to be good advice in the end.
What is it about antioxidant foods that is so good for us? These foods contain molecules that, once inside our body's cells, react with "free radicals" and remove them. Free radicals are oxygen containing molecules that are highly reactive - that is they will react with many other molecules they come in contact with. When they react with our cells and tissues, they can do grave damage, leading to premature aging, ill health and disease. It's better if they react with an antioxidant first and get removed from the picture before they can do any damage. This is why it's a good idea to eat lots of foods high in antioxidants, so that you always have lots of antioxidants available when they're needed.
The information we're hearing about foods rich in antioxidants is not hype or propaganda thought up by the fruit and vegetable producers; there's good scientific evidence to back it up. It is, however, being misused by many opportunists to sell antioxidant products to consumers. Because antioxidant foods contain many different antioxidants, all of which function in their own way to rid the body of free radicals, the single best approach to getting enough of them is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day. If you simply cannot tolerate vegetables, there are antioxidant supplements available to the consumer. Choose one from a reputable source and try to find one that is produced from a range of plants and foods high in antioxidants - so you get a range of antioxidant molecules.
Foods rich in antioxidants include, in general, the brightly colored fruits and vegetables: leafy greens like kale and spinach (but not iceberg lettuce), other green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, red and yellow vegetables like tomatoes, red bell peppers, carrots and squash, and other things like beet root. Fruits that are good antioxidant foods include, again, the fruits with lots of color: pink grapefruit, berries, oranges, plums, grapes, apricots, peaches. Even the dried forms of these fruits are good sources. Two foods rich in antioxidants that have enjoyed particular attention recently are blueberries and chocolate - they apparently contain levels of antioxidants out of all proportion to the rest.
Super antioxidant foods like blueberries and chocolate come with a caveat however: they tend to relatively high in oxalic acid. Oxalic acid will bind to other valuable nutrients in the food we eat and make them unavailable during digestion. Oxalic acid is also irritating to the intestinal lining and quite toxic if large amounts are consumed. Thus, a steady diet of foods rich in antioxidants and high in oxalic acid can lead to nutritional deficiency and ill health. The key here, as in most things in life, is moderation and variety. You can enjoy average amounts of these and other foods high in antioxidants, but don't overdo it on any one thing.
A healthy balanced diet containing plenty of fruits and vegetables, with as much variety as possible, should provide ample foods rich in antioxidants and all the other nutrients essential to combat premature aging and promote good health. Again, if a healthy diet is not possible for you, consider a nutritional supplement that will provide the same variety and take it as directed.
Take a look at this special antioxidant supplement and discover how you can prevent premature aging today.